If you’re listening to the podcast or reading an article on my website , you can’t see that so, I’ll explain it. It’s a fairly new record deck that I bought, an SME 20 with an SME Series V Arm. It was quite serendipitous how I got that.
That Record Deck with the Arm and the cartridges, they’re probably the best part of £20,000. I’ve got the most ridiculous bargain to buy that. The reason I did, is because I demoed one. I loved it. I went out to a few of my Hi-Fi friends and said, hey look, I’m looking for an SME 20 Record Deck with the Series V Arm…
One of them who actually does the Hi-Fi for my house. In my house here, I have a control force system, which does all the lightning, and the home automation, and everything. He came back and he’s said, I’ve got a good friend who’s into Hi-Fi too. His best friend is a big Hi-Fi buff. Unfortunately, he just passed away. So, the friend of my Hi-Fi friend brought the Deck and the system over. We did a demo, and I absolutely fell in love with it.
I was absolutely privileged, and grateful, and more than happy to pay £9,000, which is less than half price, which obviously helped the widow of the person who had passed away. I felt like I’ve got an amazing Hi-Fi at an amazing price. I mean I could probably sell that for more now. I’m not going to. I’m going to basically keep this for most of my life, because there’s some sort of emotion element to it as well. But you could call that serendipity, or you could just say that the reason that I’ve got this amazing deal, was because I asked.
So, do you regularly go to your database of clients, to your followers, your fans and ask for referrals? My guess is no, you don’t! I’ve got actually a very simple two-step system, which you’ll be like gobsmacked, if you’ve not done. You’d probably kick yourself for not doing it. It’s the easiest way to get business. It doesn’t cost any money. It’s not like adverts or pay-per-click, where it does cost a decent amount of money. It goes like this.
Step 1. You reach out to all of your existing customers, clients, maybe even leads and followers. You just say, “hey, once a year, we look to improve our services. We’d love it, if you could give us some feedback. What should we start? What should we stop? What should we keep? What have we done well? What would you like us to improve? Well, by the way, we will be publishing the results, and we will be implementing your suggestions”. This is not just one of those usual throwaway surveys.
Also, if you do fill it in detail, I’ll give you X gift. And maybe, give them a voucher, or a discount on a product that you have, or just some kind of gift or a one-to-one consultation call. You’d often seen me do those. Then what you do, is, 2 or 3 or 4 weeks later, you publish the results. You go back, and you say, “look, thank you so much. We’ve got an amazing response. Here’s what you’ve suggested. And here’s what we did. By the way, we have a special offer on one of our products, which expires on Friday. Would you like to take us up on this special offer? If so, go here.” Or, if so, book a consultation call, or whatever your call-to-action is.
So, it’s just a simple two-step process:
- To get feedback to improve your service.
- To then go and ask for business or a referral.
I’ll talk about the second way in a minute. Or, that’s the two-Step System.
Now, imagine if you did that between 3 times a year, and once a year, how much more business would you get? I’ve just read about what: 60 marketing plans for the 4X Marketing Mastermind that I’ve just launched. I would say, not even 5 of them are doing this. Of course, some are getting referrals, naturally. I just spoke to someone yesterday who does dental implants. He gets natural referrals. But he doesn’t ask for them. And he doesn’t reward and incentivise people. Now, his fees are between £4,000 and £41,000.
Let’s say, his average fee is £15,000. The profit margin, actually his profit margin is one-third. So, it’s really good. But let’s just assume it was 20 percent. So, his profit margin is £3,000 to £3,500 per implant, per procedure. So, he can easily afford to give away £1,000 in marketing cost.
Imagine he wrote a handwritten letter to all of his best clients and said that, here’s a check for £1,000, because you’ve referred someone to me in the past, “I’m not asking for anything, but I’m just saying thank you”. Imagine how many referrals you’re going to get for that. Whilst it sounds like a lot, I mean he could do it for £200. It doesn’t have to be £1,000 for it. But just imagine, if he did that, imagine if it was a personal reach out rather than just some kind of automated affiliate system.
The next way that you use this two-step system, is that you’re doing an improvement run of your business that you do once a year.
Incentivise your customers to give you feedback. You take the feedback. You publish the results of the feedback, and then you ask them to refer one to 3 people to you. In the first instance, you’re asking for. You’re making a pitch. And in the second instance, you’re asking for referrals.
If these 60 business plans, marketing business plans are anything to go by, most people are getting their business through word-of-mouth. And they’re not doing free and low-cost social media marketing, or direct response marketing, mostly word-of-mouth. But that’s accidental, i.e. if someone recommends them, it’s because they choose to. Like, when you recommend someone a film at a cinema or something, they do it, because they’ve enjoyed the service. But they’re not strategically going out there, and building a referral system. The best way to build a referral system is:
- 1.Ask for referrals
- 2.Make sure it’s tracked well
- 3.Incentivise the referee with cash, or discounts, or vouchers, or bonuses
- 4.Make it very personal, and make them feel special for doing so. Like, writing handwritten notes, or having like a referee or an ambassador party once a year, where you get all your best customers over.
I’ve just asked in my office for my team to publish to me our top 50 clients in terms of what they have spent. Now, our top client has spent £87,000 with us and the 50th client has spent about £40,000 with us. By the way, they did that over years in sort of £2,000 increments. So, it’s not like, it was all at once. They’ve got progressively improved results. I look at most of the people on that list, and many of them are millionaires now. Many of them are financially free.
But it just did really almost shock me how much. And I’m looking at that list, thinking, I need to get them over to my house for a special barbecue, have champagne with them, give them some gifts, make them feel really special, because they are special. I’m very grateful to them. So, twice a year, once at my house, and once at Mark’s house, we’re going to invite them over. We’re going to have like, a nice sort of champagne reception, and have a nice summer barbecue. Make them feel special. I’m not even going to ask them for referrals. I just want to make them feel loved and appreciated.
When I went to Audemars Piguet to interview the CEO, then the next year, when they invited me over to the SIHH Watch Show, they completely treated me like royalty. They flew me over. They picked me up in a Maserati. They gave me a box of gift. They treated me like, I was royalty. It made me feel amazing. It gave me deep sense of connection to that brand. That’s what I want to give as an experience to our best clients. I think we’re good, but not great. I think we can be better.
— Rob Moore (@robprogressive) December 26, 2016
If you do that, you’re not just accidentally getting word-of-mouth, you’re getting this massive pull of referrals. We all love to be made to feel special and important. We all love to be given gratitude for when we pass clients over. Some people don’t do it for the money. Some people do. Some people just want to be noticed and appreciated. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Let me summarise. There’s two-Step System that you can do, maybe every 3 to 6 months on rotation in 2 ways.
Step 1. You reach out. You show gratitude for your clients and followers. You ask them to give you feedback. What should we start, stop, keep? You let them know that you’ll be following up. And you will be implementing their suggestions. You give them a gift for filling in the survey, otherwise, they probably won’t, because people generally do when they’re incentivised. You send that out. You collate the results. You say, “Thank you so much. This is what you’ve suggested. This is what we’ve implemented.” Then you pivot or bridge into, “hey, we’ve got a special offer coming on”.
Step 2. You link that special offer to your feedback, because that’s what people have said they wanted. When you launched a new product, or an existing product, or a one-time offer, or a special discount, that’s the first thing that you do every 3 to 6 months. Then every 3 to 6 months, you do exactly the same thing. But the second pitch or offer, is, asking for referrals. You say,” Please, could you send us 3 names and details of people you think can benefit from our service like you. If you do, we will give you £100 per client”, or whatever you can afford to give.
Remember like, I said at the start with my Record Player, where there’s some kind of serendipity, where I’ve got £20,000 Record Player for £9,000. I’ve probably got equity in it. If I sold it, I’d probably make on it. Just because I went out to a few of my Hi-Fi friends and said, “hey, look, I’m looking for a new Record Player, ideally an SME 20. Do you know anyone?” It just so happened there was this amazing piece of serendipity. Now, obviously, someone passing away is tragic, but I feel like, I’m carrying on their legacy to some degree by owning their Record Deck, and enjoying it, and giving it a really good home.
It’s funny as well, because I’ve been trying to get Norman Foster on my Podcast for quite a few months. We’ve just not been able to get in touch with him. I just did a one-to-one call with someone called, James this morning. He actually works for Foster Architect. He’s just given me the address. Norman Foster has got 4 PAs. He’s given me the address of the main PA to connect with Norman Foster.
So, if you ask more, you get more. I know it sounds so simple. My dad always used to say to me when I was young, “Son, if you don’t ask, you don’t get”. But I’ve always scared to ask. I worried about what people were thinking. So, now, if I want a podcast, I guess I’m going to ask people. It’s amazing when you ask. What you get back. The world is a mirror of you. So, you get what you ask for. So, be careful what you ask for.
Thanks for reading! If you think this can help any other business owners, please do share this. It’s short. It’s fast. It’s simple. It will make a big different to your business. It’ll make a big different to their business.